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Competing institutional logics in talent management: talent identification at the HQ and a subsidiary

Journal article
Authors Daniel Tyskbo
Published in International Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN 0958-5192
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Language en
Keywords Talent management, talent identification, human resource management, institutional logics, competing institutional logics, critical HRM
Subject categories Business Administration


Talent Management (TM) is a hot topic among both practitioners and scholars, but it still has to overcome some important limitations. Studies have been overly unitarist and managerialist in their orientation, and we still know little about how local contextual factors relate to TM, especially with regards to one of the most critical aspects of any TM system, i.e. talent identification. This research, which adopted a qualitative case study including data from interviews, observations and documents, studied how talent identification unfolded in practice at both the headquarters (HQ) and a subsidiary of a large Swedish organization. By drawing on the institutional logics perspective, we suggest that the way in which organizational actors conduct their talent identification is grounded in the logic they enact and make use of. Attention is thus focused on how the cultural norms, symbols and practices of different institutional orders are incorporated into the identification of talent. Having identified competing institutional logics at the HQ and the subsidiary, we also suggest that this is a credible explanation for the discrepancy between intended and actual HR practices. The findings are in contrast with previous research, which suggests that self-interest, ad hoc approaches, and a lack of skills nested in talent identification are underlying causes of differences in how talent identification is conducted.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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